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Negative Credible Fear Determination Reversed

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Negative Credible Fear Determination Reversed

Immigration Negative Credible Fear


My paralegal looked at me while we were driving to the Stewart Immigration Court in Lumpkin, Georgia and she said, “Assma, she trusts and believes in you a lot, and I know you will do whatever it takes to get him home to her”. My paralegal was correct, when a client and his fiancé tells you how much they believe and trust you, it makes the job more profound because the last thing you want to do is let them down.

A Cuban national was first detained at the Tallahatchie Detention Center in Tutwiler, Mississippi after capture and arrest at the border for trying to enter the United States without entry or inspection. After being detained at the Tallahatchie Detention Center, he had a Credible Fear Interview (CFI) telephonically with a USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) asylum Officer to determine whether or not he could demonstrate that he has a credible fear of returning to his home country. A few days after my client had his credible fear interview, he was served with a notice by a deportation officer that he did not meet the necessary threshold necessary to show well-founded fear of past or future persecution and for that reason he was given a “Negative Credible Fear Determination.” After being served with the Negative Credible Fear Determination, a person can request that an Immigration Judge review the Negative Credible Fear Finding pursuant to the Section 235 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. My client sought an Immigration Judge Review Hearing in his case.

Before you can see an Immigration Judge for your Immigration Judge Review Hearing, the client needs to be transferred to another detention center because the Tallahatchie Detention Center is only a temporary housing facility. A few weeks later, my client was transferred to the Stewart Detention Center. About two weeks passed, and the matter was not set for hearing, which was odd. I called the court and ask that this matter be set for hearing. Many Courts in the United States including the Stewart Immigration Court, have rarely seen CFI Review Hearings, but by law, the hearing should be set for an Immigration Judge (IJ) hearing within 10 days after it’s filed with the Immigration Court. After numerous conversations with the Court, the Court clerk calls our office to inform us that the hearing has been set for 8:00 a.m. the following day. But wait, I told the clerk, this gives me less than sixteen (16) hour notice, and I live six (6) hours away, so I have no time to arrange for me to be present for the hearing!” The clerk uttered back, I apologize, but the hearing has to proceed, see you in the morning.”

I go to my paralegal’s office and I tell her, I know it’s almost dark outside and its pouring rain, but can you come with me to Lumpkin, Georgia because I have to be in Court tomorrow morning. A few hours later, we were both on the road, and it was pouring rain all five (5) hours, so we stopped in Columbia, Georgia and we stayed up all night at the hotel preparing a Supplemental Motion for the Judge to consider during the hearing. By law, the judge may “receive into evidence any oral or written statement which is material and relevant to any issue in the review. 8 C.F.R. 1003.42” In this case, we had a lot of evidence to show that my client’s claim was serious and if returned to Cuba he would be killed.

The following day and after a long night, my paralegal and I woke up early and completed our drive. Once we arrived at the Stewart Detention Center, we were informed that they were going to cancel the hearing because our client was in quarantine due to the chicken pox outbreak within the Stewart Detention Center. After speaking with numerous individuals within the Immigration Court, we were finally able to proceed with the hearing. The judge reviewed the CFI and the supplemental evidence and determined that USCIS made the right determination in giving him a “Negative Credible Fear Determination”. I knew the judge’s decision was in error and I was not about to give up.

As we were driving back home, I prepared a very long letter to USCIS requesting from them to reconsider their “Negative Credible Fear Determination.” In addition to my letter, I also supplemented a large sum of evidence. USCIS accepted my request and they forwarded my request to another USCIS office to determine whether they in fact made the wrong decision. This was my last resort, if my request gets denied, that would be the end to the case.

Two weeks later as I walking out of Court and to my car, I noticed I had over ten (10) missed calls from my paralegal, and I freaked out. I proceeded to call her and the first thing that I hear was “guess what Assma, we just received a letter from USCIS and a Notice to Appear (NTA) indicating they reversed the Negative Credible Fear Determination and issued the client an NTA.” I was jumping, like a little girl from happiness, out in a public parking lot. I proceeded to call my client’s fiancé and tell her the news and she was extremely happy.

Since my client was issued an NTA, this gives us grounds to file for a bond. After filing for a bond twice, I knew the judge would not grant bond, for valid reasons, I decided to take a different approach. I sought parole for my client from his Deportation Officer and the request was approved a week later. After the parole request was approved, my client was on his way to see his fiancé. My client and his fiancé are two very nice people, and I am glad to finally say, that I was able to reunite them after overcoming many obstacles (some of which I did not mention in this blog). Cases such as these are the reason for why I love being a lawyer. Having the ability to reunite my clients with their loved ones is one of the most beautiful things that practicing law allows me to do and for that reason, I am blessed to be a lawyer.

Assma A. Ali

If you have an immigration case and would like legal representation contact our office at (601) 948-8005 or our 24-hour line at (601) 927-8430 to schedule an appointment. I could also be reached via email at [email protected]. I am licensed to practice in all United States Federal Courts so I handle immigration cases from all over the United States.
Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A. Immigration Team offers an array of Immigration legal services for clients in the Mississippi area such as adjustment of status, citizenship, green card, work permits, spousal cases, and deportation as well as asylum. Our Mississippi Immigration Attorneys are here to assist in Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, Criminal Cases, as well as Family Cases. Our legal team speaks English as well as Spanish and Arabic. We have a combined 7 year legal experience handling immigration matters for the Mississippi area. You can also check out our CG Immigration Team Facebook page as well. Contact an Immigration Mississippi Attorney today, we are here for you.

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